Death Warmed Up (New Zealand Splatter Blu-ray)


Severin strikes again with another pulsating package of finely curated sleaze to please that’s ready to knock your dick into the dirt. We’re talking an undiscovered classick of epic proportions, something guaranteed to pop your lids and make you scream until you like it. Welcome to Death Warmed Up, you’ll thank me later. No bullshit. Michael (Michael Tucker) is a sweet enough punk with a fair bit of screws loose. His main dilemma? Finally getting even with the nefarious Dr. Howell (Gary Day) for using him as a guinea pig for his mind-controlling drug and sending the lad back home with a riot shotgun to dispense of Mom and Dad. After being confined for years in a wacko basket, Michael invites some friends along for a day trip to a tiny island off the Coast that Dr. Howell has set himself up as a sort of Jim Jones meets Dr. Oz cult leader. The rest will not be divulged for risk of ruining the multitude of surprises that this film has in store. Before I continue, let it be known that if the plot appears a bit flimsy…you’re doing it wrong. Death Warmed Up is the rarest of birds – a kill-for-thrills sci-fi splatter boondoggle that hits like a shotgun blast.


This movie runs on high octane gasoline, folks…if you take everything down as just another part of the cumulative experience, then you’ll just go with it and have a blast moving from one shock to the other. Director David Blyth brings a painter’s eye and a mortician’s heart to the proceedings, pushing 16mm to its limits by pumping up the day-glo New Wave color scheme and making great use of quick cutting and alternating camera styles to create a mélange of madness. This is a movie that moves. Severin are among the very best in genre video distribution, and they have provided a tasty package for a film many feared to be lost. The A/V quality is superb considering the lack of appropriate film elements to choose from, with deep blacks and a nice coat of beautiful film grain on top. The colors pop and if you’re left dissatisfied by the quick cutting during select gore scenes, Severin were nice enough to include a longer “New Zealand VHS Cut” in wonky analog glory for those completists out there. As far as extra features, you get an academic and insightful commentary track along with a pair of interviews and the requisite trailers, deleted scenes, TV spot and still gallery. A definite return on investment and a must see. You may not like this film but you damn sure won’t forget it.


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Written by David, Comptroller of Your Last Scrap of Existence

Death Warmed Up (2019, Blu-ray)
David Blyth
5 / 5